Many homeowners upgrading to solar energy wonder whether solar panels will work efficiently in cloudy or snowy weather. The good news is that solar panels can work brilliantly in cloudy or snowy weather. Solar panels capture the energy from the sun to generate electricity, but that does not mean they will only work during long summer afternoons.
As of January 2022, more than 3 million rooftop solar panels have been installed across Australia. On a cloudy day, solar panels can generate 10-25% of their output as compared to a clear day. So, we know that a solar photovoltaic (PV) system will still generate electricity for your home even when the sky is full of clouds, but how?
The common Google searched question is finally answered. This month, Solaris Tech will discuss how solar panels work in cloudy weather. We will discuss the ‘edge of the cloud effect’ alongside the impact of poor weather conditions on solar panels. To know more about solar panel maintenance, keep scrolling and read along.
Solar technologies convert sunlight into direct current (DC) through photovoltaic (PV) panels. The direct current (DC) gets converted into alternating current (AC). Most households run on Alternating Current (AC). AC is used to feed your home electricity to watch television, cook dinner or simply turn on the lights. Solar panels work best when maximum light hits the cells. The cells then produce electricity that powers your laundry machines, computers and television for your home. But the biggest question is - What happens to the solar panels on an overcast day?
With one caveat.
Solar panels work in cloudy weather - but not as effectively as on a normal sunny day. Solar panels on cloudy days generate 10-25% of the electricity of their standard power output, depending upon how thick the cloud cover is.
Now here is the juicy part. You could be wrong if you think hot climates help solar panels generate more electricity. Solar panels work efficiently in sunny-cold temperatures. Hot climates are not suitable for solar panels and even decrease the life of the solar cells as well. The solar output begins to fall if the temperature rises above 25°C. If you are searching for the best solar panels in Sydney, read our blog for tips on finding the best solar panel for your home.
The answer is no - solar panels need light to work efficiently - preferably sunlight to create energy. Although they can generate electricity from other light sources like street lights, even the moonlight, the output is meager. Because of the inability to generate electricity at night, solar panels go into sleep mode. They become inactive and stop producing electricity.
Cloudy weather cuts solar generation in half, but solar panels can sometimes reflect higher electricity outputs on partially cloudy days than on a bright sunny day. This phenomenon is known as the ‘edge-of-cloud’ effect, where the sunlight is magnified, resulting in a higher electrical output.
A bit of rain can help clean the solar panels by clearing out all the debris and dirt collected on the solar panels. Being on the roof all year round, solar panels can face some adverse weather conditions, which might hamper the electricity production capacity of the solar panels. For this reason, solar panels are made to be very strong to withstand anything coming their way.
If you want professional advice on solar panel maintenance and installation, click here and hire the best solar installers in Sydney.
To summarize, solar panels work effectively even in cloudy conditions and perform better in sunny-cold temperatures. How efficient your solar panels are under extreme weather conditions is entirely dependent on your solar panel brand. Check out some good reviews before purchasing solar panels for your home.
Solar energy will account for 60% of global renewable power growth in the coming years. Do not let the weather forecast cloud your judgment. Go solar and choose renewable over non-renewable.
We hope this blog has answered your questions about the effects of weather on solar panels! If you have any questions regarding solar panel installation and maintenance, contact Solaris Tech. Get in touch with our consultants to hire the best solar installers in Sydney.